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When pathogens invade the insect hemocoel (body cavity) they immediately confront two major forces: immune-responses and circulatory currents. The immune response is mediated by circulating and sessile hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, and the salivary glands. These tissues drive cellular and humoral immune processes that kill pathogens via phagocytosis, melanization, lysis, encapsulation, and nodulation. Moreover, immune-responses take place within a three-dimensional and dynamic space that is governed by the forces of the circulatory system. The circulation of hemolymph (insect blood) is primarily controlled by the wave-like contraction of a dorsal vessel, which is a muscular tube that extends the length of the insect and is divided into a thoracic aorta and an abdominal heart. Distributed along the heart are valves, called ostia, that allow hemolymph to enter the vessel. Once inside the heart, hemolymph is sequentially propelled to the anterior and to the posterior of the body. During an infection, circulatory currents sweep small pathogens to all regions of the body. As they circulate, pathogens encounter immune factors of the insect that range from soluble cytotoxic peptides to phagocytic hemocytes. A prominent location for these encounters is the surface of the heart. Specifically, periostial hemocytes aggregate in the extracardiac regions that flank the heart's ostia (the periostial regions) and phagocytoze pathogens in areas of high flow of hemolymph. This review summarizes the biology of the immune and circulatory systems of insects, including how these two systems have co-adapted to fight infection. This review also compares the immune and circulatory systems of insects to that of crustaceans, and details how attachment of hemocytes to cardiac tissues and the biology of the lymphoid organ demonstrate that dynamic interactions between the immune and circulatory systems also occur in lineages of crustaceans.
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BACKGROUND - The American Heart Association (AHA) established recommendations based on 7 ideal health behaviors and factors with the goal of improving cardiovascular health (CVH) and reducing both morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease by 20% by 2020. Few studies have investigated their association with subclinical coronary heart disease. We sought to examine whether the 7 AHA CVH metrics were associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries.
METHODS - In a cross-sectional design, we studied 1,731 predominantly white men and women from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study without prevalent coronary heart disease. Diet was assessed by a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) was measured by cardiac computed tomography. We defined prevalent CAC using an Agatston score of 100+ and fitted generalized estimating equations to calculate prevalence odds ratios of CAC.
RESULTS - Mean age was 56.8 years, and 41% were male. The median number of ideal CVH metrics was 3, and no participant met all 7. There was a strong inverse relationship between number of ideal CVH metrics and prevalent CAC. Odds ratios (95% CI) for CAC of 100+ were 1.0 (reference), 0.37 (0.29-0.45), 0.35 (0.26-0.44), and 0.27 (0.20-0.36) among subjects with 0 to 1, 2, 3, and 4+ ideal CVH metrics, respectively (P = .0001), adjusting for sex, age, field center, alcohol, income, education, and energy consumption.
CONCLUSIONS - These data demonstrate a strong and graded inverse relationship between AHA ideal CVH metrics and prevalent CAC in adult men and women.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is characterized by excessive increases in heart rate (HR) upon standing. Previous studies have shown that standing HR decreases over time in POTS patients given placebo. We hypothesized that this reduction is due to cardiovascular physiological alteration, as opposed to psychological benefit from perceived therapy. To prospectively test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of an open-label 'no treatment' intervention (NoRx) compared with a patient-blinded placebo on standing HR in POTS patients. Twenty-one POTS patients participated in a randomized cross-over trial with oral placebo versus NoRx administered at 0900 h. Seated blood pressure (BP) and HR were measured at baseline and every hour for 4 h. Similarly, BP and HR were measured while patients stood for 10 min at these time points. Standing HR decreased significantly over time with both NoRx (112±13 and 103±16 b.p.m. at baseline and 4 h, respectively) and placebo (112±14 and 102±16 b.p.m. at baseline and 4 h, respectively; Ptime<0.001), but this effect was not different between interventions (Pdrug=0.771). Postural tachycardia syndrome patients have exaggerated orthostatic tachycardia in the morning that decreases over time with either placebo or NoRx interventions, suggesting this phenomenon is due to cardiovascular physiological variation. These data highlight the need for a placebo arm in haemodynamic clinical trials in POTS and may have important implications for the diagnosis of these patients.
© 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition that has well-documented effects on musculoskeletal health. A growing body of literature has related vitamin D deficiency to other chronic disorders, including cardiovascular disease. Several plausible biological mechanisms have been postulated to explain this association, including the effect of poor vitamin D status on intermediate risk factors (eg, hypertension and diabetes), neurohormonal activation, inflammation, and cardiac remodeling. These mechanisms have been explored in experimental and animal studies, as well as several small interventional studies. The results of the controlled trials have not been conclusive to date. In this review, we summarize the existing studies investigating the effects of vitamin D on cardiovascular health, and propose that additional well-designed, prospective, randomized controlled trials are necessary to delineate the appropriate role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease.
Central circuits known to regulate food intake and energy expenditure also affect central cardiovascular regulation. For example, both the melanocortin and neuropeptide Y (NPY) peptide families, known to regulate food intake, also produce central hypertensive effects. Members of both families share a similar C-terminal amino acid residue sequence, RF(Y) amide, a sequence distinct from that required for melanocortin receptor binding. A recently delineated family of RFamide receptors recognizes both of these C-terminal motifs. We now present evidence that an antagonist with Y1 and RFamide receptor activity, BIBO3304, will attenuate the central cardiovascular effects of both gamma-melanocyte stimulating hormone (gamma-MSH) and NPY. The use of synthetic melanocortin and NPY peptide analogs excluded an interaction with melanocortin or Y family receptors. We suggest that the anatomical convergence of NPY and melanocortin neurons on cardiovascular control centers may have pathophysiological implications through a common or similar RFamide receptor(s), much as they converge on other nuclei to coordinately control energy homeostasis.
Intrauterine environmental pertubations have been linked to the development of adult hypertension. We sought to evaluate the interrelated roles of sex, nitric oxide, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in programmed cardiovascular disease. Programming was induced in mice by maternal dietary intervention (DI; partial substitution of protein with carbohydrates and fat) or carbenoxolone administration (CX, to increase fetal glucocorticoid exposure). Adult blood pressure and locomotor activity were recorded by radiotelemetry at baseline, after a week of high salt, and after a week of high salt plus nitric oxide synthase inhibition (by l-NAME). In male offspring, DI or CX programmed an elevation in blood pressure that was exacerbated by N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester administration, but not high salt alone. Mesenteric resistance vessels from DI male offspring displayed impaired vasorelaxation to ACh and nitroprusside, which was blocked by catalase and superoxide dismutase. CX-exposed females were normotensive, while DI females had nitric oxide synthase-dependent hypotension and enhanced mesenteric dilation. Despite the disparate cardiovascular phenotypes, both male and female DI offspring displayed increases in locomotor activity and aortic superoxide production. Despite dissimilar blood pressures, DI and CX-exposed females had reductions in cardiac baroreflex sensitivity. In conclusion, both maternal malnutrition and fetal glucocorticoid exposure program increases in arterial pressure in male but not female offspring. While maternal DI increased both superoxide-mediated vasoconstriction and nitric oxide mediated vasodilation, the balance of these factors favored the development of hypertension in males and hypotension in females.
Aging is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Aging is also associated with a decline in the growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis. This axis impacts endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cell biology, as well as cardiac function. The number of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) also decreases with age and is emerging as a surrogate measurement of vascular senescence. Studies suggest that EPCs impact vascular health by modulating vascular repair and function. Current evidence demonstrates that EPC number and function is restored with a GH-mediated increase in serum IGF-1. Modulation of the GH and IGF-1 system may therefore provide a useful therapy in the prevention of age-associated changes in the cardiovascular system and in future regenerative cell-based therapies.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs represent the most commonly used medications for the treatment of pain and inflammation, but numerous well-described side effects can limit their use. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors were initially touted as a therapeutic strategy to avoid not only the gastrointestinal but also the renal and cardiovascular side effects of nonspecific nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, in the kidney, COX-2 is constitutively expressed and is highly regulated in response to alterations in intravascular volume. COX-2 metabolites have been implicated in mediation of renin release, regulation of sodium excretion, and maintenance of renal blood flow. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge about both renal and cardiovascular side effects that are attributed to COX-2 selective inhibitors.